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Planning your Treescape – Part 3

For the love of trees – Specific Species Recommendations
 |  Andrew Noakes  | 

This is the third and final instalment of the series “Planning Your Treescape,” that aims to give you the information and ability to make informed decisions about tree planting on your land.

Part One – Covered questions to contemplate before planting and how to determine availability of natural resources on your land.

Part Two – Covered various environmental players in the long-term viability of a treescape.

With that background information, we are now ready to talk specifics and suggest various species to consider when planning your treescape.

With the dynamic weather on the Coromandel Perninsula, most properties either suffer land slips (on the hills) or boggy areas (in the lower flatlands); some have to contend with saline rich soil, and others high winds. Each area will call for different species to be planted, to both suit the conditions and help dissipate regularly occurring landscape problems.

Plantings in hilly areas should include trees that have large root systems to help stabilise the soil.

Planting in lower areas should include trees that can tolerate and thrive in “wet feet.”

Plantings on the coast should include trees that can not only tolerate, but thrive in a saline soil.

Here are some suggestions for you to consider:


• Rimu (Dacrydium cup-ressinum) is a large evergreen conifer that improves soil structure and tolerates seasonal drought. They can grow up to 35 metres tall and are found throughout NZ.

• Pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa) stands up to winds, improves soil structure, tolerates wet and saline heavy soils. There are a few different varieties to choose from that can vary in size.

• Kahikatea (Dacrycarpus dacrydiodes) is NZ’s tallest tree. They grow well in wet soil, improve soil structure, and stand strong against wind.

• Cabbage trees (Cordyline australis) are hardy: they tolerate wet soil, drought, frost and can cope with saline environments. They make a dramatic tree line.

• Totara (Podocarpus totara) are hardy: tolerating wet soil, seasonal drought, frost and wind; they are also good for stabilising soil and create wildlife habitats. The various varieties offer different bark textures and shapes.

• Titoki (Alectryon excelsus) are smaller sized flowering trees that are drought and wind tolerant.


• Poplar (Populus lombardy) grows well in wet areas and is fast growing. They are good shelter band trees, though one must be cautious in high wind areas as full-grown trees are prone to failure.

• Willow (Salix) varieties are fast growing and thrive in wet areas; they are great for soaking up excess water.

• Oaks (Quercus) and Ash (Fraxinus) varieties each tolerate seasonal drought and offer splendid autumn colour. Can be planted as amenity trees.

• Himalayan Birch (Betula utilis) are medium sized trees offering dappled light that are wet and wind tolerant.

Food Producing:

• Grafted citrus trees don’t mind wet soil.

• Prunus and Malus (stone fruit and apple) trees don’t like frost; cherries don’t grow well in this area.

• Various nut trees can be successful in this area, ie walnut, macadamia, almond.

Trees are an investment, both financial and for the benefit of the ongoing landscape, to be enjoyed for you and generations to come. Plant wisely. If in need of specific advise, be in contact, I am happy to advise you.

Good luck.

Next Month… Winter tree care.

Andrew Noakes, of NZ Arb Consultancy, is a local Qualified Arborist and TRAQ Certified Assessor with over 30 years experience caring for trees in a variety of situations. 0204 163 5486